New bill introduced to permanently extend telehealth services

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Members of the House Telehealth Caucus recently introduced the Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act, bipartisan legislation that would permanently extend waivers for telehealth services for Medicare patients.

The bill, introduced by Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), would continue telehealth use beyond the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, making telemedicine more accessible, flexible, and removing geographic restrictions.

Through April, Medicare beneficiaries had 1.7 million telehealth visits. During COVID-19, Medicare has reimbursed providers the same rate for telehealth as in-person visits. It's unclear whether this will continue past the state of emergency, which currently ends in October.

Editor's note: Click here for more information and ongoing COVID-19 updates for integrative healthcare professionals.